Posted by: katjorgensen | February 4, 2012

Casting On

As a writer, I stick with a project until I’m done.  No ifs, ands or buts about it.  I’m monogamous when I write.  Or so I tell myself.  And maybe that isn’t always a good thing for a creative person.

However, when I knit, I am easily distracted by a shiny new pattern or yarn.  I’m in the midst of working on an intricate lace shawl, and until this week, I was doing monogamous knitting.  But I’ve still got about 100 rows to do, and the temptation to cast on has been great today.

Here’s a picture of  Squall many rows ago.  It’s not as blue in real life.  The yarn is handspun.  Not by me.  I do spin, but we’d be waiting for a long time for me to produce enough yarn to make this shawl out of my handspun.  No, it was lovingly spun for the Fall in Full Color Club by Cheryl Newhouse at New Hue Handspun out of her BamHuey Lace yarn.  It it just stunning.

I’m ganking a picture of the finished project to let you see what it will eventually become.  Photo is courtesy of Knitspot.  Anne Hanson is my favorite designer.  I wish I could see what she sees when she designs her patterns.  They are works of art.

I’m using the 2 skein option, so my shawl will be bigger than this.  I’ve used up one skein of yarn already and the shawl above was made with only one skein.  But then I’m a big-boned fluffy kind of girl.

So on this rainy, gray day here in Richmond, Virginia, I put Squall aside and cast on for another Anne Hanson Knitspot project.  Motheye.

Again, this picture is from the Knitspot shop.  I’ll be making my Motheye out of The Verdant Gryphon’s Mithril lace in The Depths of the Sea colorway.

I ganked this picture from Gryphon’s website. I think it’s going to be beautiful.  And you know, sometimes we need to feed that need for beauty.  Not that Squall isn’t beautiful.  It’s gorgeous.  But today I needed to cast on for something else.  And Motheye got the nod.

It’s a life lesson I need to pay attention to.  Often, in writing, I’ll hang with a particular thread in a plot.  It could be stagnating because I’ve been working on it too long and pushing for it to hurry up and be done.  Well, things, creative things anyway, are never done before they’re good and ready to be done.

Squall is telling me to give it a brief rest and come back to it. Motheye is winking her pretty dark eye at me and saying, “Cast on.”

Letting go is often so much better than resistance.  Casting on, whether it’s with knitting or writing or some other creative endeavor, is not a bad thing.

So for that sticky part in the plot that I’ve been relentlessly working on this week, I’m letting it go and casting on for another thread in the book.

And to feed my creative soul, I’ve cast on for Motheye.

Are you finding that you need to cast on for something different in your life?  Try it.  You may be surprised with the results and with what happens when you go back to your original project.  Let me know what you think.  I’m interested.

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Responses

  1. Wow!! So pretty!! I’m awed by your talent with this! I wouldn’t have the wherewithal to get as far as you already have, even with the beautiful pictures in sight to encourage. I can’t wait to see finished products of both!! The green is gorgeous!

    • Thank you, Carrie. It really is a fun knit. And after saying I wasn’t going to knit on it, I found myself picking it up before bed last night and doing a few rows. But I did work on the other project in between. I needed a break. I’ll be sure to post finished pictures. : )

  2. I definitely listen to what my knitting is telling me. Sometimes you need to step back from a project and give it some time out for a few days (weeks/months!!!! oops!) Occasionally I need instant knitting gratification and have to cast on something quick! When all else fails, I’ll start a pair of plain vanilla socks. There are always plenty of happy recipients waiting for them!

    • Helen, I need some instant gratification every now and then – whether it’s with writing or with knitting.

      And yes, I think it’s as important for me to listen to my yarn for it to tell me what it wants to be as when I listen to my characters when they tell me what they want to do. Phew! What a sentence. But I think you understand what I mean.

      I’ve been doing some very uncreative cleaning all day. I’d much rather write or knit : )

  3. These are so pretty! I’ve been wanting to learn how to knit for a while; wish I had the time! Love the analogy b/w knitting and writing. I’ve found that I used to stick like glue to linear story-telling. Lately though, I’ve bounced around, writing stories out of order and then reworking the pieces as I pull together the first full draft. I like it; creativity seems to flow a bit more.

    • Julie, I’m very much a linear story-teller. But my mind bounces all over the place. I can se where non-linear would be very satisfying. I should learn how to do that.

      I hope you can find some time to knit. It’s when I do some of my best plotting : )

  4. Love the blue shawl. I understand the fascination with yarn. I did loom weaving a long time ago and was obsessed with yarns, colors, textures, etc. (same with fabric). Hard to focus when you get distracted by all the creative ideas they stimulate–same with writing; sometimes I get distracted with too many creative ideas and can’t settle on one.

    • Cora, I completely understand. I used to do a lot of quilting and the fabrics and textures spoke to me so much. I’m very tactile. Even now, with yarn, I will squeeze and feel and pet the yarn. But while I work on a creative project with my hands, my mind is working on plotting without me even realizing it. Boom! An idea will pop and I keep paper and pen close by to jot notes to myself.

  5. Chiming in later. Great post, Kat. Your knitting has certainly produced some great writing imo. Knit on…write on. Can’t wait to see your finished products in both.

    • Thank you, Judythe. You’re always so supportive of my endeavors : )

  6. So beautiful! Gorgeous yarn, gorgeous pattern. I hope you will post pictures of the finished product.

    I have a history of setting aside writing projects for long periods of time, then wandering back to them many months or years later. Sometimes it’s because of procrastination, or the pursuit of Shiny New Thing, and at other times I need the time away to grow my skills or let the idea simmer before tackling it again.

    • Rabia, I so agree with you on letting ideas simmer or growing skills. I had this fabulous idea a couple of years ago for a book and at the time I didn’t have the writing tools to do it justice.

      My knitting has been like that too. 4 years ago I would not have tried an intricate lace pattern. I had to grow my skills there too. I always say that I’m like my knitting – just a work in progress. Thank you for posting.


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